Requesting help to finally see

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JonathanR
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby JonathanR » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:29 am

Hi Ken,

For the purposes of your inquiry it doesn't pay to try to be very smart. If what I'm asking seems obtuse or complicated or confusing it's s lot better to say so than to try to work out what is meant. Really.

If focus strays away from what can be experienced right here and now as sensation or noticing appearing thoughts, it can be confusing. That's to say, we won't get where we need to be via working things out. Its all about looking for the fabled 'self'. Its more like glancing to look to check if something is 'there' or not.

Jon

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AviGuy
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby AviGuy » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:20 am

Hi Jon,
For the purposes of your inquiry it doesn't pay to try to be very smart. If what I'm asking seems obtuse or complicated or confusing it's s lot better to say so than to try to work out what is meant. Really.
Ok then thanks for the clarification. It should be obvious to ask for clarification if needed but I guess I succumb to discouragement as a habitual behavior.
So, would this be a thought that gives an impression of some sort of sensation that seems to be happening to a 'me'? But neither a 'me' nor a sensation can be found? Is that what happens?
This is difficult for me to answer with honesty. I'm sincerely trying to focus on the feeling of self to analyze just what type of feeling it is, but I just can't focus on it. It's frustrating that I can't really focus on the feeling, but simultaneously there is this fixed perspective and I just can't tell what it is. Like you said before, there is no feeling of a self darting away from focus like an octopus or something, but then how is the illusion still intact?
What if the 'me' sensation, the 'me' thought references a self that is no more than a thought ABOUT one?
I can get this conceptually, I think.
Ok then, what is the self that is not separate from that feeling?
I just don't know how to answer this, to be honest.

Thanks Jon, I wish I could do more with your questions.

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JonathanR
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby JonathanR » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:37 pm

Hi Ken
.It should be obvious to ask for clarification if needed but I guess I succumb to discouragement as a habitual behavior.
Don't worry. In my opinion you are a natural at this. But seriously, if anything I say sounds obscure or opaque just say so :-)
. Like you said before, there is no feeling of a self darting away from focus like an octopus or something, but then how is the illusion still intact?
Well, take the case of Santa Claus. In early years it is told and believed that he is a real guy in a red suit who lives at the North Pole and comes down a real chimney to deliver presents once a year. And for most young people that remains really true until lack of evidence and rumours stack up, and the penny drops! After that the image and story of Santa appear each year but it is seen that the entity had always been imagined.

Does that make sense to you?

Regards,

Jon

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AviGuy
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby AviGuy » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:45 am

Hi Jon,
Don't worry. In my opinion you are a natural at this. But seriously, if anything I say sounds obscure or opaque just say so :-)
Okay I will, thanks Jon. :)
Does that make sense to you?
Well in a sense, yes. I guess I can't imagine how a belief in self could vanish in the same way as a belief in Santa, but I guess that's just the tricky thing about belief. I'm probably just impatient with my own belief persisting, asking myself "how much proof do you need?"

Well thanks for addressing my concern. I looked again at the previous questions and can't find or describewhat the feeling of self is. I guess all I can do is keep looking?

Thanks,
Ken

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JonathanR
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby JonathanR » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:18 pm

Hi Ken,
. I can't imagine how a belief in self could vanish in the same way as a belief in Santa
Its just a matter of looking for the 'me' that is supposed to be 'there'. Or, alternatively, if its already the case that this entity thing cannot be found, not even a glimpse of an escaping octopus, maybe take a nice sharp glance at the absence?
. I'm probably just impatient with my own belief persisting,
Could be. There can be a holding on to an expectation that some kind of special experience ought to happen. Also its possible to imagine that beliefs need to disappear, leaving some sort of golden empty space.

All that needs to happen is to notice that the fabled 'self' was never a real thing. Compare it to an orange, for example. At least that can be smelled, touched, seen, tasted.

All the best

Jon

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AviGuy
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby AviGuy » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:29 am

Hi Jon,
Or, alternatively, if its already the case that this entity thing cannot be found, not even a glimpse of an escaping octopus, maybe take a nice sharp glance at the absence?
Hmm well I spent some time on this and I'm not too sure how to do this in a way that's different than how I already was looking, but I've got several hours set aside tomorrow so I'll see if I can figure out how to take that sharp glance that's needed.
There can be a holding on to an expectation that some kind of special experience ought to happen. Also its possible to imagine that beliefs need to disappear, leaving some sort of golden empty space.
So basically waiting for my expectation to happen instead of actually looking at what is happening?
All that needs to happen is to notice that the fabled 'self' was never a real thing.
I guess I can't stop from imagining what this is like, but I'll try to notice when expectations are trying to tell a story.

Thanks,
Ken

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JonathanR
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby JonathanR » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:46 pm

Hi Ken,

From your replies to my questions recently it appears that they require a lot of figuring out, which is not going to help much.


. The inquiry isnt about figuring things out. Its simpler. Just look to see if a separate self can be found?.

If you suspected that a crocodile was lurking under your bed but were not sure, how would you check to find out?

Jon

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AviGuy
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby AviGuy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:06 am

Hi Jon,

I'm visiting with family until Thursday evening, but I'll be on tomorrow to put some time into your questions. Sorry for the wait, but it was a long drive and I'm going to sleep early after a little while longer spending time with my family.

Thanks,
Ken

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JonathanR
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:36 am

Hi Ken

Thabks for letting me know. Take what time you need .
Speak soon.

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AviGuy
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby AviGuy » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:35 am

Hi Jon,

I almost beat your post but I spent too much time typing this out haha.
The inquiry isnt about figuring things out. Its simpler. Just look to see if a separate self can be found?.

I'm having trouble looking so directly. I can't feel the self as something that can be focused on, but there is still the feeling of separation. I'm trying to look where the feeling of separation is coming from, but it's not obvious to me that it's only a thought. What I mean is I'm really just not sure how to do this looking different or more simply than how I already am. The trying to figure out comes after I try looking with direct attention and not seeing clearly what you are trying to show me. There hasn't been an 'aha' moment and so in my mind I'm doing something wrong with how I'm directing my attention while trying to find the self. Although it occurs to me conceptually that if attention seems to move on its own spontaneoualy then the idea of me directing it doesn't make sense. That gave me a peculiar feeling of contradiction but it still doesn't quite feel like looking is being done on its own.
If you suspected that a crocodile was lurking under your bed but were not sure, how would you check to find out?
I can't see it as something this easy, as to me directing attention outward is something I can easily be aware of, while directing attention inward seems to be something I feel unclear trying to do. Actually, I spent a lot of time outdoors today, and I have been feeling a lot of interesting feelings come up as I try to stay present (well it's mostly spontaneous) while looking at the sky and the ocean. A change in how everything looks (as in whether experience feels purely physical or more spiritual somehow) seems to come but only when I'm directing attention to the scene in front of me. I'm not sure if this is something to really fixate on and I'm not sure how to reconcile it with my practice of internally looking for the self, when the same feelings don't seem to arise.

Thanks,
Ken

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JonathanR
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby JonathanR » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:30 pm

Hi Ken,
. but it still doesn't quite feel like looking is being done on its own.
Well no, looking always seems to be 'done' by what can be called 'the looker' or 'person' or 'entity' or 'self' or 'me'.

Did you find that there is very often the feeling or idea that 'I' am 'doing looking'?

But quite apart from that, seeing does happen. Even taking some of the current tbinking in science seeing, (of colour, for example), happens automatically, that's to say, without anyone making the seeing happen. But we tend to imagine that were doing the seeing. This is why the seeing, hearing, smell, taste and touch experiments are important. These can reveal a lot.

Perhaps we've done this one but find an orange or a white cup. Set it down just in front if you and rest your gaze on it in a relaxed way.

Right now, notice the experience of the colour (usually assumed to be a 'separate object') and the immediate experience of seeing it. It will be 'felt' as much as 'seen'.

The assumption is usually of three things, 'me' (as seer), an object that has colour (supposedly separate) and 'my experience'. Notice what's really going on. Seeing is happening, for sure and we can use language to say 'there is an experience of colour'. But what is really going on?

Find out. Strip out all assumptions and see if you can find a separation between a 'me' , 'seeing' and 'colour'.

Or is 'orange' just what's happening right now?

I'm staring at a white floor right now. I can say that but what is
actually doing the seeing? is whiteness 'separate' from the perception of it? Could it be?

Find out. If seeing doesn't sail your boat try hearing again. You're good at noticing that.
. but only when I'm directing attention to the scene in front of me.
Is it really 'yours' to 'direct'? It may seem so but how do you make/create attention? What happens sometimes if you stop focusing or attending? Does it just disappear? Can it be switched off at will?

Jon

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AviGuy
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby AviGuy » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:26 am

Hi Jon,

I was on the road mostly today, so I spent some time on this today but I think it's going to take a little more focus. I'll be home tomorrow evening and better able to devote my attention to this, so I'll post a better reply then. Thanks Jon, I'll talk to you then.

Ken

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AviGuy
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby AviGuy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:12 am

Hi Jon,

Sorry for the wait, I just got back home and should have more time to focus on this again.
Did you find that there is very often the feeling or idea that 'I' am 'doing looking'?
Yes, I find that to be the sort of default feeling when I remember to try looking.
Right now, notice the experience of the colour (usually assumed to be a 'separate object') and the immediate experience of seeing it. It will be 'felt' as much as 'seen'.
I've had some different feelings and thoughts come up during the times it occurs to me to practice this, but I'm not sure what you mean by color being felt as much as seen.
I'm staring at a white floor right now. I can say that but what is
actually doing the seeing? is whiteness 'separate' from the perception of it? Could it be?
No, I would say whiteness and the perception of whiteness are the same thing, but as to what is actually doing the seeing well I wasn't able to see that yet. I'll look again and spend a little more time on sounds too.
Is it really 'yours' to 'direct'? It may seem so but how do you make/create attention? What happens sometimes if you stop focusing or attending? Does it just disappear? Can it be switched off at will?
It feels like it is 'mine' or anyway that's what thoughts say. But I don't create it and I can't switch it off. It's not clear why attention focuses on the things it does but it sort of bounces around on its own and most of the time I am oblivious to it happening.

So I guess I need to look again for the parts of your post that I couldn't address.

Thanks,
Ken

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JonathanR
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby JonathanR » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:24 pm

Hi Ken
. I'm not sure what you mean by color being felt as much as seen
I was pointing at the direct experience of colour and it applies to any sensation. Dont go overboard in an effort to work this out. But do you notice that the direct experience of any sensation,heard, seen, touched,tasted or smelled, can be very intimate? Like there's no gap at all between the blueness of sky and the experience of it? No line or gap between 'a sound' and what is heard?

. No, I would say whiteness and the perception of whiteness are the same thing, but as to what is actually doing the seeing well I wasn't able to see that yet. I'll look again and spend a little more time on sounds too.
Good but you know, its really not failure not to find something that is doing seeing.

So what sees?

What hears?

All the best

Jon

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AviGuy
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Re: Requesting help to finally see

Postby AviGuy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:38 am

Hi Jon,
Dont go overboard in an effort to work this out. But do you notice that the direct experience of any sensation,heard, seen, touched,tasted or smelled, can be very intimate? Like there's no gap at all between the blueness of sky and the experience of it? No line or gap between 'a sound' and what is heard?
I have noticed this with sound in the past but just briefly, and always basically on accident. I was looking at vision today though and I think I was keying in on what you're describing. The seeing of whiteness had sort of a directness to it, I'm not sure how to describe it. It seemed different than how seeing is normally, and it could only be experienced for moments at a time before seeing returned to normal. I'm not sure what is happening when seeing is returning to normal, or otherwise what is being focused on to make seeing change in that way. I'm going to return to this tomorrow and see if I can observe this more clearly, although I'm worried I might just be tricking myself by focusing my eyes in a funny way like with a stereogram.
So what sees?

What hears?
It still feels like there is (or is believed to be) an observer separate from sensations observed. I want to look some more at vision specifically and see if I can make out what is happening in closer detail.

Thanks,
Ken


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